The Entrepreneurial Spirit! 

A warehouse on Chicago's West Side is "the world capital of fake (latex) vomit, where it's still made the old-fashioned way, ladle by ladle, formed and coagulated," reported the Chicago Tribune in December. Though it is not as popular as 50 years ago (7,000 units sold yearly, compared to 60,000 then), Fun Inc. President Graham Putnam said, still, "It's the best vomit on the market." According to the awe-struck Tribune reporter: "The texture is soft and sturdy, pliable and complex, with ridges of multihued solid chunks looking like a jagged lunar landscape ... perfect for the bathroom, refrigerator, auto seat or sidewalk."

Exciting Japanese Products: The clothing company Konaka announced that it will start selling press-free men's and women's suits in February that can be cleaned by hanging them under a warm shower.

Not actually for sale is bra-maker Triumph International's prototype "chopstick bra," shown in November in Tokyo as an environment-friendly demonstration project. The bra houses two reusable chopsticks (to publicize a national campaign to discourage use of disposable ones), which can also be positioned to enhance the wearer's cleavage.

Leading Economic Indicator: Evangelical Christians, among all people of faith, seem excited to purchase products that reinforce their religious values, according to a marketer cited in a December Denver Post report, with the result an explosion of Jesus-themed merchandise such as Jesus riding a bull, surfing and playing soccer, Jesus air-fresheners and Grapes of Galilee wine. (Among the tackier products, according to a November report in London's Daily Telegraph, are "thongs of praise" underwear with an image of the Madonna and child, and a template to place on a bread slice in an oven to create toast with the Virgin Mary's likeness.)

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